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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 05-19-11, 08:31 PM   #1
Mr Sinister
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How do I learn to get my cadence up?

What would you suggest for me to do to try and get my cadence up? As of now I would say I am more of a torque type of peddler. I need a little help to learn to do the higher cadence. What were some of the exercises you used to break yourself of this habit, if you had it?
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Old 05-19-11, 08:40 PM   #2
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Do you listen to music while you ride? If not are you against listening with just one ear? If not then go to http://www.djsteveboy.com/podrunner.html
and get some music with the cadence that you want to pedal at. If you let yourself listen it will drive your cadence be it pedaling, running, etc.

Also try find the gear that your rear bounces a bit in the saddle then click it up one gear. That's how I know I'm in the "right" gear and am just not powering through.
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Old 05-19-11, 08:42 PM   #3
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Pick a cadence and aim for it. Do that for one minute, rest, and do it again. Then try two minutes, etc. Seriously not everyone is made for 90-100. Experiement and see what works best for you..
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Old 05-19-11, 08:51 PM   #4
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Sprints with Eddie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gfv2diohUXE
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Old 05-19-11, 08:54 PM   #5
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Just down shift a gear or two but don't let up on the peddles and hold it and then reel of the gears till you get tired. It will take several weeks or longer to get the cadence up to around 100rpm. Get a bike computer that has cadence and use this as your training device as speed is not as important as cadence. Cadence is the Tach in a car you are trying to hold the cadence and shift the gears around to maintain your cadence.
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Old 05-19-11, 08:58 PM   #6
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Maybe I should also give a little background on myself too...

I do listen to music,and like fast metal. I really don't like pop at all when I ride. Sometimes I also like to not listen to anything when I ride.

I am also thinking that when I used to go to the gym might have hurt me in this high cadence thing. I mean I used to be able to do 10 leg presses on a sled with almost 1000 pounds on it (more like 950). I'm wondering if this hurt me for this. I used to love doing power leg exercises.
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Old 05-19-11, 09:01 PM   #7
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I really liked that movie back in the day. Still watch it whenever its on too.
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Old 05-19-11, 09:19 PM   #8
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How do you know your cadence is slow -do you have a computer with cadence?

I used to think my cadence was about 80 rpm, until I got a computer with cadence. Nope - avg. was more like 70. Having the computer constantly and consistently letting me know what my cadence was got me to working on it. As has been noted, you won't be able to change your style overnight - it takes some consistent work.

JB
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Old 05-19-11, 09:37 PM   #9
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How do you know your cadence is slow -do you have a computer with cadence?

I used to think my cadence was about 80 rpm, until I got a computer with cadence. Nope - avg. was more like 70. Having the computer constantly and consistently letting me know what my cadence was got me to working on it. As has been noted, you won't be able to change your style overnight - it takes some consistent work.

JB
Nope don't have a computer with cadence, wish I did. I just feel that when I try to get it up I am burning out fast. I know I need one to be 100% sure.
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Old 05-19-11, 09:40 PM   #10
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Pick a cadence and aim for it. Do that for one minute, rest, and do it again. Then try two minutes, etc. Seriously not everyone is made for 90-100. Experiement and see what works best for you..
Yes. Skinny legs seem to go around faster and easier than big legs. There's an extra energy cost lifting and bending stiff heavy legs.

I have a stiff knee (lax hamstring, joint held together with scar tissue) and cadence low 70s is my sweet spot. That said, I still do spin drills (when I'm not trying to keep up with other riders) to improve my coordination. Over 80rpm I get almost zero force on the pedals and bounce. Not sure I've broken 90 with both feet on the pedals.
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Old 05-19-11, 09:47 PM   #11
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The powerlifting isn't going to hinder you. Take a look at track sprinters' legs. Heck, look at track sprinters in general if you want to see a cycling discipline where big isn't always a drawback. And these are riders who can top a 230 cadence.
Chris Hoy's legs:
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Old 05-19-11, 09:48 PM   #12
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Maybe I should also give a little background on myself too...

I do listen to music,and like fast metal. I really don't like pop at all when I ride. Sometimes I also like to not listen to anything when I ride.

I am also thinking that when I used to go to the gym might have hurt me in this high cadence thing. I mean I used to be able to do 10 leg presses on a sled with almost 1000 pounds on it (more like 950). I'm wondering if this hurt me for this. I used to love doing power leg exercises.
I'm sure this contributes. Though it has been years I used to do power lifting routines and I would find that I would power through instead of spin at a higher rate. Now, for the benefit of calorie burning, I focus on higher cadence. For me it is as simple as when I go through the gears if I am pedaling too fast I'll bounce a bit in the seat so I'll shift up one. If I bounce in that I shift to another, etc. Soon I'll be in the gear just above bouncing and that is where I stay (almost). That got me used to where I liked to be on my cadence. Now that I have a feel for it on a flat stretch I can shift gears even if I am not bouncing and then add some push to get to that spin rate that I am used to. If I can't get there I shift back down.

All that is 100% all the time but it's my general rule on how to get to where I am working my legs and lungs, not just a power workout for my legs.
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Old 05-19-11, 10:27 PM   #13
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What broke me of the mashing habit was singlespeeding and fixed gear riding. The fixed, especially. I chose a gear that I could climb with (44/18) and started out singlespeed. After a while, I swapped over to fixed so I had to learn to keep up on the downhills, too.
Now I ride singlespeed again, and I work on sprint drills on my rollers in the winter and out on the trail during my commute when it's nice out.
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Old 05-20-11, 12:48 AM   #14
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If you have a trainer, do high rpm intervals. Aim for 100 rpm for one minute. Make sure you don't bounce on the saddle. This will also smooth your spin and make it very efficient. If not, do them on the road.

If you only hit 95, then so be it. Over time, you wil hit that 100. It's all training your legs and takes time. Feels funny at first but with some practice, it becomes more natural.

I have big legs compared to most ride friends and I spin at a much higher rate than most. When we are doing 22, I'm still in my small ring while the others are big ringing it. I've had other riders look down at my legs and say, "you're still in the small ring!" I was on a ride with one forum member that said, "so let me get this straight, you're going to spin that small gear at that high cadence the entire 50 mile ride?". Yes, yes I am! And I did!

It was very stange. Here in Ca, we had a very unusally rainy year maybe 10 years back. I had that "I'm a big guy with big legs to crush big gears" mentality. That year I did some of the workouts in a cycling magazine. No kidding, 3-4 weeks later I returned to the road and my cadence was so much higher. I could ride further, faster and longer without fatigue. I had a cadence meter and my usual 42 mile riders were 95+ rpm.
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Old 05-20-11, 02:21 AM   #15
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You want to ride more like the real EDDY - as in Merckx http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7K4O7YTLQQ
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Old 05-20-11, 05:50 AM   #16
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Last year when I got a cadence sensor I was a little shocked to find my cadence was around 60. I tried to go straight to 90 and found it nearly impossible. Instead I tried to maintain 70 until that started to seem natural, then 80 and I am currently working on being able to do 90 for a continuous amount of time. Work your way up to it 5 or 10 rpm increments.
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Old 05-20-11, 06:11 AM   #17
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Probably not the right crowd to say this but I'll say it; high cadence is overrated
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Old 05-20-11, 07:25 AM   #18
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Nope don't have a computer with cadence, wish I did. I just feel that when I try to get it up I am burning out fast. I know I need one to be 100% sure.
Count your revolutions for 15 secs. and multiply by 4.
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Old 05-20-11, 07:29 AM   #19
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Or count it for 6 seconds and add a zero.

Knowing what your cadence is is the first issue. Once you have that information, you can consciously work toward increasing it through judicious use of your gears. A little practice time and you'll get into the habit.
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Old 05-20-11, 07:36 AM   #20
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count 1 leg, or both? I want to be 100% sure of this. I feel if I count 1 leg I will only get half my result, but I'm just not entirely sure of this.
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Old 05-20-11, 07:56 AM   #21
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Probably not the right crowd to say this but I'll say it; high cadence is overrated
I agree. One needs to find what works for them instead of shooting for some number because others advocate it. Time trialists find that 75-85 gives them the best performance for example. That doesn't maen that's what they might do for a century though.
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Old 05-20-11, 08:01 AM   #22
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Probably not the right crowd to say this but I'll say it; high cadence is overrated
If you ever had knee trouble from mashing, you would change your opinion.
That is what taught me the value.
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Old 05-20-11, 08:02 AM   #23
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You want to ride more like the real EDDY - as in Merckx http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7K4O7YTLQQ
Now there is an idea: Eddie vs Eddy - Who would win?
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Old 05-20-11, 08:07 AM   #24
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count 1 leg, or both? I want to be 100% sure of this. I feel if I count 1 leg I will only get half my result, but I'm just not entirely sure of this.
ONE revolution is the time between ONE knee hitting the same position.
Just get a cheap speed/cadence meter.
Then work on pushing yourself to run 10rpm over what normally seems comfortable.
Once that becomes easy, push yourself to go 10rpm higher.

Back when I got knee trouble I was doing 50-80 rpm.
Now I normally run 85-105 and have had no knee trouble in years.
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Old 05-20-11, 09:54 AM   #25
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Just down shift a gear or two but don't let up on the peddles and hold it and then reel of the gears till you get tired. It will take several weeks or longer to get the cadence up to around 100rpm. Get a bike computer that has cadence and use this as your training device as speed is not as important as cadence. Cadence is the Tach in a car you are trying to hold the cadence and shift the gears around to maintain your cadence.
This.

Go down a hill that isn't very steep. Put the bike in its lowest/easiest/granny gear. Spin the pedals as fast as you can. With practice, you'll be doing 200 rpm.
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